Old HP site likely to house Crestline students

School board agenda says members will be asked to approve contract with owner SEH

By Susan Parrish, Columbian Education Reporter



Numbers identify segments of the exterior wall of Crestline Elementary after fire ripped through the school in the early morning of Feb. 3. Fire investigators are combing through the rubble and piecing together what might have happened.

Crestline students will apparently be moving to the old Hewlett-Packard campus at 18004 S.E. 34th St. next year, as workers rebuild their school that was destroyed in a Feb. 3 fire.

Evergreen Public Schools Superintendent John Deeder wouldn’t confirm the deal Thursday. But an item on Tuesday’s school board meeting agenda asks board members for “approval of (a) lease agreement between Evergreen Public Schools and SEH Campus Vancouver for space to house Crestline Elementary School for the 2013-2014 school year, effective Aug. 1, 2013 through July 31, 2014.”

A school district spokesman confirmed district officials were meeting with contractors Thursday afternoon to discuss retrofitting a facility owned by SEH America to house Crestline Elementary students next fall.

The site is about 31/2 miles southeast of Crestline and within Evergreen’s district boundaries.

SEH America, which operates a silicon wafer factory at 4111 N.E. 112th Ave., bought the old HP campus in June 2009 for future expansion, but so far has done very little with the site. HP vacated the premises when it consolidated its Vancouver printer development and marketing operations at the Columbia Tech Center near Southeast Mill Plain Boulevard and 164th Avenue.

The vacant site has 735,000 gross square feet of building space and 114 acres of open land. The campus includes six connected buildings, a cafeteria for 250 patrons, a sports field, basketball court, exterior courtyards and a community garden.

HP once used the vast facility — about three-quarters the size of Westfield Vancouver mall — for offices and inkjet printer manufacturing before moving much of those operations overseas more than a decade ago.

Crestline Elementary was destroyed by fire on Feb. 3, displacing almost 500 students plus faculty and staff. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. For the remainder of this school year, the Crestline community has been reassigned to five elementary schools within the district.

Deeder has previously said the district’s priority for next year was to reunite the students in one temporary location.

Evergreen plans to rebuild a new Crestline Elementary on the current school property at 13003 S.E. Seventh St. The new school is expected to open in fall 2014.

Susan Parrish: 360-735-4515; http://twitter.com/Col_Schools; susan.parrish@columbian.com.

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